This chicken pozole recipe is a comforting Mexican soup, with hominy, lots of chicken, and a flavorful red sauce made with ancho and guajillo peppers. This is a quick and easy version.
Easy Chicken Pozole Rojo
If you enjoy a good stew recipe, or a soup with lots of chunky chicken, then Mexican Chicken Pozole Rojo is something you'll want to try.
Pozole is a traditional Mexican food dish, and it has a number of variations, ranging from chicken and pork and different types of meat, to a huge variety of preferred garnishes.
I stick with what I typically have on hand - slices radishes, serranos, cilantro, some lime wedges - though others like to include lemon, cabbage, salsa, onion, avocado or other chili peppers.
Roasted jalapenos or serranos would be awesome here.
It adds depth and flavor, and also color, to the dish and it really makes it distinctive.
This is truly a one pot meal. More traditional pozole recipes will make the stock from scratch, but this is more of a quick and easy version of chicken pozole, which uses chicken stock and boneless chicken.
Simmer Pozole Longer for More Developed Flavor
I've seen some 30-minute pozole recipes and I've made some that didn't simmer for long, but it is best to let the flavors cook and develop, like any good stew or soup, or even chili. The longer you cook it, the better the flavors become.
It's worth the wait.
Let's talk about how to make chicken pozole, shall we?
Chicken Pozole Rojo Ingredients
- Chicken Breast. You can also use chicken thighs, boneless.
- Olive Oil. For cooking.
- Seasonings. Chili powder, Mexican dried oregano, thyme, bay leaves, cumin, and salt and pepper.
- Vegetables. Onion, jalapeno peppers, (or use serrano peppers for more pronounced heat), garlic.
- Chicken Stock. Or use chicken broth.
- Hominy. I'm using canned white hominy, which is made from dried corn.
- Dried Chilies. Ancho peppers and guajillo peppers.
- Tomato Paste. Optional, if desired.
- For Garnish. Sliced radishes or pickled radishes, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos or serranos, onion, sliced avocado, lime wedges, tortilla chips or strips, hot sauce, so many ideas!
How to Make Chicken Pozole Rojo - the Recipe Method
FOR THE CHILI PASTE
Heat a small pan to medium heat and add the ancho and guajillo peppers. Dry roast them for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are fragrant.
Toasting the dried chiles like this releases their oils, making them more flavorful.
Set them into a bowl of very hot water and cover for about 15 minutes to 20 minutes to soften. Boiling water is fine, just be careful.
Transfer to a food processor with the tomato paste (if you are using it) and a few tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add a bit of salt. Process until smooth.
Set aside for now.
FOR THE CHICKEN POZOLE ROJO
Heat a large pot to medium heat and add some olive oil. I like to use a large Dutch oven for this, though a large stockpot is great here, especially if you're making a double batch.
You'll need room for the soup to simmer.
Chop the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks and season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add to the pot and sear each side a couple minutes.
Add onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a bit.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cumin, and hominy. Stir. Reduce heat to simmer.
Swirl the ancho/guajillo chili paste into your pozole. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer the pozole for 30 minutes, though 1 hour or longer is better to develop more flavor.
Squeeze lime juice from a half a lime and swirl into the soup and serve it in bowls.
Top with your favorite garnishments!
Boom! Done! Easy enough, isn't it? Look at all the chicken and hominy. Chicken pozole rojo is an easy recipe, and I love easy, as you know. BIG flavor on the table right here. I think you're going to love it.
Recipe Tips & Notes
The Chicken. Traditional chicken pozole is often made with a whole chicken, which is essentially submerged and simmered in the pot with the stock and seasonings until it is cooked through and wonderfully tender.
Give it a try that way. The chicken flavors the stock, and you add the shredded chicken back in later.
You can save time by using prepared rotisserie chicken.
Pork Pozole. Pozole is more traditionally made with pork, though chicken is outstanding here and also cooks more quickly. There are a few ways to make it with pork.
You can either cube pork shoulder and sear the pieces in a pan, then add the pork and simmer them partially covered per the recipe until they become very tender.
Or you can submerge a whole pork shoulder and simmer it for hours until the whole thing becomes tender, then shred it. I have made it both ways and love it each time.
Cooking the pork is as easy as cooking the chicken. It just takes longer.
The Chili Paste. You can make the chili paste with other chili peppers. I use ancho and guajillo a lot, as they are easy for me to find and are two of my favorite Mexican peppers to cook with.
I just LOVE the flavor.
That's it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my chicken pozole rojo recipe. Please let me know if you make it. Send pics! Classic, authentic Mexican cuisine at its best for sure. Definitely one our favorites here.
Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes
- Traditional Mexican Pozole (with Pork)
- Caldo de Pollo
- Beef Barbacoa
- The Best Carne Asada
- Beef Enchiladas
- Homemade Enchilada Sauce
- Green Enchilada Sauce Recipe
- Chicken Enchiladas Verde with Cheese
- Rajas Poblanas – Roasted Poblano Strips in Cream Sauce
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Mexican Picadillo
- Salsa Verde
- Salsa Roja
- Michelada Recipe
- See all of my Authentic Mexican Recipes
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Easy Chicken Pozole Rojo Recipe
- 1 pound chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 jalapeno peppers chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 can hominy – about 25 ounces
- 2 ancho peppers
- 2 guajillo peppers
- 3 ounces tomato paste (optional, if desired)
- 1 lime + extras for serving
FOR GARNISH: sliced radishes or pickled radishes, fresh cilantro, sliced jalapenos or serranos, onion, sliced avocado, lime wedges, tortilla strips, hot sauce, so many ideas!
FOR THE CHILI PASTE
- Heat a small pan to medium heat and add the ancho and guajillo peppers. Dry roast them for 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally, until they are fragrant.
- Set them into a bowl of very hot water and cover for about 20 minutes to soften.
- Transfer to a food processor with the tomato paste (if you are using it) and a few tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Add a bit of salt. Process until smooth. Set aside for now.
FOR THE CHICKEN POZOLE ROJO
- Heat a large pot to medium heat and add some olive oil.
- Chop the chicken breast into bite-sized chunks and season with salt, pepper and chili powder. Add to the pot and sear each side a couple minutes.
- Add onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring a bit.
- Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, cumin, and hominy. Stir. Reduce heat to simmer.
- Swirl the ancho/guajillo chili paste into your pozole.
- Allow the pozole to simmer for 30 minutes, though 1 hour or longer is better to develop more flavor.
- Squeeze in the juice from a half a lime and swirl into the soup and serve it in bowls.
- Top with your favorite garnishments!
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 5/8/20 to include new video, photos and information. It was originally published on 4/27/2015.